CBI alleged that Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, had “tampered” with evidence relating to an alleged graft case against him during his visits abroad in the months of May, June and July this year. The investigating agency claimed this while making a case for look out circular against junior Chidambaram in the Supreme Court.
The matter is being heard by the Chief Justice Dipak Misra-led bench, which also comprises Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
“I will show he (Karti) has the potential to tamper with the evidence. During May 13 to May 18 and second week of June to second week of July, he went abroad and he did tamper with the evidence. I will justify this,” Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, told the bench.
The agency contended that there was a need to issue a look out circular (LoC) against Karti as he had the “potential” to tamper with the evidence and he had done this during his visits abroad.
“The LoC has two purposes. First, considering the investigation, he (Karti) may not become an outlaw and second, he can tamper with the evidence outside India,” Mehta argued.
The CBI FIR, lodged on May 15, had alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Karti’s father was the Union Finance Minister.
He also sought to place before the bench some documents in a sealed cover, which was objected to by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was representing Karti.
Sibal also questioned the way in which CBI was seeking to place on record certain documents in a sealed cover, after Mehta referred to legal provisions and said these empowered the probe agency to share case diary with the court without sharing them with the accused.
Meanwhile, Mehta told the apex court that he would seek instructions on whether the division bench of the Madras High Court be asked to decide the main matter pending there.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on October 9.
CBI had last month told the apex court that Karti was prevented from travelling abroad as he was allegedly closing several of his foreign bank accounts. The CBI’s contention was strongly refuted by Karti’s counsel.
The top court is hearing CBI’s appeal challenging Madras High Court order staying the government’s LOC against Karti in the alleged graft case.